From the Heart – Neil Barnes

Neil was brought up in Eccles, Manchester and, as a child, attended the local Cof E church of St. Michael’s with most of his family as well as going to regular Sunday School classes.

Like many people as teenagers, Neil back-slid church attendance for a while but when, at the age of 19 and working as an apprentice electrician, he met his future wife Wendy, who was a firm Methodist, he gradually began to look at faith in more depth and, together, they’d often talk about Jesus and the bible.

Neil and Wendy got married in September 1967 and moved to Davyhulme. They often attended the nearby Methodist church but it was in 1988 when Neil attended the Mission community event in Flixton fields that he made his commitment to God. Since then, Neil has been a regular attender at St. John’s, Flixton, and even more so since the passing of his beloved Wendy in July 2018. It was Wendy who had led Neil back to Christ and he has a strong belief that she is still with him in spirit and they’ll be re-united once again in the future.

Although Neil is very involved in bell-ringing, astronomy, choral singing, swimming and being one of the St. John’s church wardens, like many people he occasionally feels lonely and down. It is then that he uses his deep faith in God to pray or read a bible passage which gives him strength to carry on. Being involved in the St. John’s community also gives him a strong sense of “family” and belonging as well as being a big influence in his daily life.

Part of Neil’s faith is based on looking at the science aspect of Creation and, although he finds some answers there, he believes there are more answers to his questions in the bible. He reminds us that Sir Isaac Newton himself (1642-1727 – mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, theologian and author) was also a committed Christian.

Many of Neil’s friends are also Christians and he believes this helps to reinforce his religious beliefs because he can share his faith with like-minded people. One of the ministers at St. John’s has also had a strong impact in Neil’s religious life since he made his commitment in 1988.

One of Neil’s life tenets is being deeply thankful to his parents, grandparents, Wendy and also her grandparents for giving him a belief in Jesus and the bible. They were all a big influence when he was younger and gave him good advice which has been a stabilizing factor throughout his life. Belief in God has inspired Neil, especially when he has wondered whether the things he does are worth-while, with the additional encouragement of his St. John’s community.

While watching television with all it’s bad news going on around the world, Neil believes that everything will be alright in the end. While there may be tough times ahead, having God in his life, and Jesus by his side, gives Neil confidence and hope in the future.

Recent from the Heart Carol

Recent from the Heart Julie

Recent from the Heart Mo

Recent from the Heart Prison Book Review

Recent from the Heart Pray for Ukraine

Recent from the Heart Manchester Festival

The Power of Prayer

Recent from the Heart Debra Part 1

Recent from the Heart Debra Part 2

Recent from the Heart Dr Michelle Byrne

Recent from the Heart The Joy of Christmas

Recent from the Heart Dr Michelle Byrne

Recent from the Heart NHS Appreciation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s